Posts Tagged ‘bill gates’

Go ahead — Astonish me

June 22, 2010

Astonish is not a word we hear much.  But what is it you do that is brilliant, amazing, excellent, remarkable, essential, extraordinary, outstanding, noteworthy, incredible or astonishing?

What is it that displays your personal best – your personal brilliance?

The story is told that one day the great artist, Picasso, was walking in the market.  A woman approached him, handed him a pencil and piece of paper, and asked, “Can you do a little drawing for me.”   Picasso replied, “Absolutely.”  He did a quick little drawing and handed it back to the lady.  She looked at it and said – “That’s amazing.” After thanking him she started to walk away.  Picasso stopped her and said “Excuse me, that’ll be $1 million.”  She said, “One million dollars – that took you 30 seconds.”  To which Picasso replied, “My dear lady, it took me 30 years to do that.”

A fellow comedian once asked Steve Martin, “How can I become as well known as you are?”  Steve told him, “Be so good at what you do that people cannot ignore you.”

There are only 3 legs to extraordinary success:

  • What are you deeply passionate about?
  • How can you do that with excellence – perhaps better than anyone else?
  • What’s your economic model.  How are you generating income?

Integrating these 3 components will separate you from 97% of the people on the face of the earth.  How can you be the Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Bono, Mother Teresa or Billy Graham in your area of passion?  Don’t let false humility keep you from sharing your best with the world.  Go ahead — Astonish me.

Have a “Curious Child?”

April 26, 2009

William and Mary had three children, two girls named Kristi and Libby and a son they nicknamed Trey.  Since William was a successful Seattle attorney and Mary was a school teacher they thought a career in law would be an appropriate pursuit for their only son as well.

Imagine their pleasure when Trey scored 1590 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT.  His parents were thrilled when he was accepted into Harvard in 1973.  But Trey had a hard time finding a clear focus for his studies and spent most of his time playing around on the schools computers. 

According to Trey’s parents they were “sick when he told us he planned to leave college to take advantage of a window of opportunity he believed would be long gone by the time he graduated from Harvard.”  Much to the dismay of his parents, he dropped out of school forever in 1975.

In the father’s recent book, Showing Up for Life, Trey’s dad explains the lesson he learned as a father:  “Perhaps there’s a lesson in this for parents of other curious children who, from the start, require the freedom to meet life on their own terms:  It is that there is no statute of limitations on the dreams you have for your children.  And there is no way to predict how much delight you might feel when those dreams are realized in a far different way than you could have imagined.” 

Incidentally, Trey was chosen as a nickname because this son was the fourth William in the family tree.  You may know him by his adult name, Bill Gates.